'When you wear these glasses I want you to feel all the purity and energy it gives off.' So says the designer of these specs, and he or she is French so allowed to say things like this. Being a cynical old Englishman, I'll stick to deciding whether they keep the crap out of my eyes and stay firmly attached over the cattle grids... Yes, I can tick that box. And... oh all right, the Ekoi RS1 glasses are really stylish and well-designed too.
That's not just in the looks department, either. Function follows form here. The one-piece insert wraps far enough around your head to offer all-round clarity to anyone unable to peer into their own earhole. It's held securely into the frame at each side and with a long slot at the brow. It's easy to remove and refit the lenses, though you only get one for you money so may not be routinely changing them.
The nose clip is a separate piece that slides up and snaps in firmly, though twisting it pulls it out easily so take care not to lose this. The nose gripper, a single piece of moulded silicone, has a flexible core that allows it to be bent to suit the shape of your nose, French or otherwise. The same goes for the tips of the side arms, which means you should have no trouble achieving a secure grip that doesn't press too hard on your head.
These items come in black and are the only part of the glasses you can't change on the endlessly entertaining Ekoi website. The company has made its name offering a huge variety of options that change in real time on the website as you select them. With the RS1 you can change the lenses, frame, side arms and the removable silicone side inserts and choose either a black or white nose clip.
It's possible to create some Frankensteinian combinations so don't select and order these after a drink or you might regret it. (Not all options were available for all elements when I was playing with this.) The 'virtual mirror' is supposed to show you what you will look like in your chosen frames but didn't work for me as it insisted on showing my head upside down.
The lens options alone are a little daunting. Ekoi offers the lens with a red, blue or green Revo coating, which gives them a semi-mirrored look and is meant to reduce glare. They are recommended for strong sunlight conditions. For the UK you may prefer the smoke (for bright days) or clear (for protection from grit etc), or the photocromatic lens which came on my test pair. These add £32 to the price but I would recommend them as they were excellent in all conditions and render all the other options unnecessary, unless you are after style points. On top of this, the lenses come in regular or XL size, the latter coming lower down the cheeks for days when you might have a long face.
Ekoi says the lenses are made from unbreakable polycarbonate, except the photochromic lenses which are 'shatterproof' polycarbonate. They are still claimed to provide 100% UV protection, in all conditions. It also says they are capable of switching from light to dark in 3 seconds and clearing in 10. This is difficult to prove in real-world conditions where the light levels are never zero, but on days of sunny spells they simply got on with the job and I was never aware of the light being either too bright or too dark. Additional lenses can be bought separately elsewhere on the website at £16.69 (Ph lenses are just over £50).
Ventilation is crude but effective: slots cut into the top edge of the lens. I found them slightly noticeable in my line of vision, particularly when the lenses had darkened and more so when riding in the drops. The nose piece was also slightly intrusive in the sightline, but my brain soon filtered these out and I stopped noticing them. The website claims the lenses are coated to repel water but I can't say this worked particularly effectively on mine.
An optical insert is available for glasses wearers at a mere £4.19 and spare nose bridges and temple ends can be had from the website. You will be pleased to learn that the frames are aerodynamic if, like me, you worry that your sunglasses may be slowing you down.
All in all a very good product and I have a friend (ahem) who might want to buy extra pairs to match my – I mean 'his' – various bikes.
Lightweight, tough and with excellent visibility and venting, these are top-notch sunnies. Loads of colour options too
road.cc test report
Make and model: Ekoi RS1
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Ekoi says: "The new glasses EKOI RS1 has been designated by a French designer exclusively for EKOI.
"When I designed them, I wanted a dynamic & elegant movement.
"I use pure lines because nothing goes as fast as right segments. When you wear these glasses I want you to feel all the purity and energy it gives off.
"My approach is simple, precise and dynamic design to go faster"
You can only write stuff like that and get away with it if you are French.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Water slides over the glass in case of rain: hydrophobic treatment
- Anti-fog lenses : 6 vents
- Flat internal temples for good maintenance and no discomfort
- Adjustable for perfect fit in all circumstances
- Removable color inserts to allow air flow on each side in summer and cold air protection in winter
- Adjustable nose bridge
- Lightweight glasses: 25 gr
- Frame and temples in Grylamid TR90
- Optical Insert available (for glasses to your view)
- Interchangeable lenses (comply with CE standards)
- Very protective Wraparound lenses
- 100% Anti UVA / UVB / UVC
Unbreakable or shatterproof lenses depending on your choice; the frame material seems strong too.
Little to criticise, though the supposed water repellent coating didn't seem effective.
Like any sunglasses they need to be taken care of, but the frame material is tough and resisted being dropped on a hard floor (deliberately!). The lens insert is shatterproof or unbreakable depending on your choice. No scratches (yet!). Clean the lens with the bag provided.
25g claimed, 28 measured, and if you take the coloured inserts out I daresay 25g is achievable. Light enough for the weeniest of weightwatchers.
The nosepiece and side arms can both be bent to achieve perfect fit. So light you barely notice them.
You only get the one lens for your money.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Superbly comfortable with excellent lens clarity and adjustability to the light conditions. Ventilation was very good and they didn't steam up even on long climbs. They stayed put on the nose.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Light, stylish, high-performing, and well ventilated. Great fit and comfort. And you can play on the website!
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The vent slots and nosepiece are a little intrusive in your line of vision. The claimed water repellency wasn't great.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
The RS1 combines style with performance. There are plenty of options to design the glasses you want, and you can add extra lenses – if included it might have nudged the score up to 9, but it adds to the cost.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale CAAD10 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking